DRAGONS back Josh Lewis is now strongest at full-back after making the switch from fly-half, believes former Wales international Tom Shanklin.

The 29-year-old from Aberdare has spent most of his career as a fly-half, earning deals with both the Scarlets and Bath thanks to his exploits when pulling the strings for Ebbw Vale.

He signed for the Dragons in 2018 after his spell in England and made 22 appearances in his first season, sharing the duties at 10 with Jason Tovey.

Lewis suffered a serious knee injury that ruined his 2019/20 campaign but he returned last season and frequently joined forces with fly-half Sam Davies.

Of his 17 outings, just four were with 10 on his back and the trend at 15 continued in the United Rugby Championship opener against the Ospreys.

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: Josh Lewis celebrates his tryDELIGHT: Josh Lewis celebrates his try

Lewis got the nod at full-back and scored one try, from Davies' neat grubber, and helped create the other with a decoy run that allowed Rhodri Williams to dart over.

The full-back was one of the Dragons' strongest performers in the 27-23 derby defeat.

"I think he is probably better at 15 than he is 10, it takes a little bit of pressure off him about controlling games," said Premier Sports pundit Shanklin, who won 70 caps and featured in two grand slams for Wales as a centre/wing.

"You have got Sam Davies at 10 who can run a game and run the attack while Josh is defensively really good, there are not many balls that bounce, he caught them on the full, returned kicks very well and got himself into the game.

"I think he had a very good game and I prefer him at 15 to 10. Yes, he can play 10 but he was very busy and gives another option to Sam and takes the pressure off him a bit. He was a shining light in the Dragons team."

South Wales Argus: SOLID: Josh Lewis claims a high ball for the DragonsSOLID: Josh Lewis claims a high ball for the Dragons

Lewis was assured under the high ball and provided the game's only 50:22 with a peach off a cross-field kick in the second half.

He remains the Dragons' next option at fly-half behind Sam Davies, with youngsters Will Reed and Evan Lloyd behind the experienced duo.

The Dragons have fleet-footed Jordan Williams and Ioan Davies, who turned a loan move from Cardiff into a permanent one in the summer as other options at full-back while Will Talbot-Davies is on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.

Wingers Jonah Holmes and Jordan Olowofela can also play at 15.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan is mulling over his selection for Sunday's URC clash with Leinster at Rodney Parade (kick-off 2pm) and Lewis is a dependable option with rain forecast for Newport.

"We never have any doubts about Josh, wherever we ask him to go he has a great impact on the game," said the boss.

"He is a pretty direct line runner, he kicks well and as a 10 is capable of coming in as a first receiver. He is very different to Jordan, we know that, but he comes hard to the line."

The Dragons could have Wales hooker Elliot Dee back in the mix for round two as he returns from a calf injury.

Leinster started the season with a 31-3 win over the Bulls in Dublin.